Marquette County group to collect inland water levels data

MARQUETTE — Some Marquette County residents have been concerned for years about the water levels on some of the county’s inland lakes and aquifers.

Residents have been telling the Marquette County Board for at least the last several years about falling levels on Martin Lake in Forsyth Township and the Sands Aquifer.

A group of experts, including the Superior Watershed Partnership, Northern Michigan University and Michigan Tech, has told the board more data is needed.

“One of the recommendations is to put together a program to do just that, to start measuring lake levels in a way that’s scientifically valid, and aquifers, so that we can get some long-term trend information,” Marquette County Commissioner Greg Seppanen said.

The experts have told the board they believe climate change issues are involved and that the area will just have to live with lower levels. The lake levels group has talked with the National Weather Service about how it collects data.

“And it’s more than dealing with measuring how water’s fallen, but there’s also mitigation,” Seppanen said. “What are some practices that we can do in the region that would help?”

The lake levels group wants to collect long-term water levels data over many years. It’s also talking about reaching out to Baraga County and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community to look at water level issues.